Sunday, July 30, 2006

Outrun 2006: Clarissa's challenges

I think that's her name, anyway.

I completed a few of the flagman challenges, but fancied something different so started to play some of Clarissa's heart attack missions. And they're hard.

In fact, I've only unlocked about half of them so far, since you need to complete a stage in a normal heart attack event before you can replay it over and over again by itself. It's not just reaching the stages - I can just about manage that - but there are up to four different modes for each stage, the later ones of which are obtained by reaching them while getting at least As in all previous stages.

And this is the first of three heart attack mission modes!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Hitman: Contracts: big fat meat man

It's not too bad a game, and I do like the open-endedness of it, but I'm finding it rather hard. The first level was easy enough once I realised that the SWAT teams didn't pay me any attention if I was wearing an asylum inmate's outfit, and not carrying a weapon. The second level was much more complicated, though. Eventually I worked out that I could kill the lawyer first when he went to the loo, then steal his VIP pass and nick some clothes from a passed-out guest to get upstairs to see the big fat boss man.

Not sure how much I'll play this, but it's nice to have to think about things for a change.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Brickbreaker: challenge accepted

13210, on level 24. That makes me amused, and Soren annoyed.

In other words, I have a score 1.339 times Soren's, and have progressed seven levels further.

And I still think the game's a bit pants. I've just worked out a strategy for dealing with the levels where there's a row of silver blocks across the bottom of the playing field. The gun destroys these blocks; so as long as you get a gun you can destroy at least the silver block in the middle, meaning that if you die it's not necessarily game over.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Midweek Challenges - 26/07/2006

Complete the first two levels of Hitman: Contracts, which I got for £2.99 from Choices.

Take pictures of my flower display in Animal Crossing before I leave it to die.

Complete at least six of the third set of flagman races in Outrun 2006.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Doom RPG: backtracking

After gaining the green keycard, there's a door in sector 1 (in the yellow area) which you're able to open. To get there you have to go through the whole of the sector, fighting off easy enemies with a single shot. Then you get through the green door, and blue dogs start jumping at you and it's just a bit scary.

Anyway, the green sector is relatively easy, once you've levelled up a bit. Again, though, I didn't find many secrets along the way.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Brickbreaker: challenge extended

Soren's just emailed me to tell me that he's got a new Brickbreaker high score, on level 17, of 9865.

I've also managed to get to level 17, but my score is only 9290.

I am not amused.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Outrun 2006: Outrun class cars

With a few Outrun Miles under my belt, I've bought some Outrun class cars. Hideous things - take a lovely designed Ferrari and add some chavvy spoilers and bodywork to it. But they go so much faster with such better acceleration it's unfunny. They're a bit more slidey, and it's more difficult to control the powerslides, but I can just about manage. It does feel like controlling a wild beast though.

Previously I was having a bit of a job finishing the harder arcade routes. I can do them easily on the Xbox Outrun 2, but on occasion I wasn't even getting to the last stage on the PSP. No longer. I completed destination D on my second go with the Outrun class 360 Spider, and I reckon the SP tracks will be similar.

I also tried some of the missions with the new car. The novice missions are all completed at AAA level now. But on the professional level, the game's rather ruined by idiotic AI. On 'race the rivals' stages, I can catch up to and overtake the leading cars in the first two stages. And yet even if I have a clean race all the way from that point, if I then mess up the last corner five cars go shooting past me. Really frustrating.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures

I've owned this for a long time, but we've not really played it much. And given that our previous save is in my Gamecube box, which in turn is in Box A9, which is under Box A27, Box A30 and Box 6, it seemed easier to start again when John brought this along.

I'm glad we did. This is a superb game, once you've worked out the controls - which aren't difficult really, they're just context-sensitive. I've written a review for Wii Ouendan, here. As I say there, the mix of competitiveness and collaboration works excellently, and we played through three levels last night having a great laugh. I'm sure we would have played more if it wasn't just past midnight, on a school night.

I look forward to our next game.

Sega Casino: multiplayer Texas hold 'em

The awful background music aside, this works really well in multiplayer. Of course, you can't see other people's screens, so you have to have a good poker face when placing your bids and so on. I obviously did, because I won. This was rather good.

This was helped by John placing stupidly large bids to start with, not realising we had limited money. He went out soon after. I then went on to win a lot off of Kieron in one hand, when I had three of a kind to his two pairs. After that we were pretty even for ages, with me on £3500 and him on £2500. To save John's boredom, Kieron went all in on what he thought was a winning hand. It wasn't.

They now owe me £2000 each.

Advance Wars: Dual Strike: Kieron wins. Again.

It's getting dull now. Too routine. We start a game of Advance Wars DS. Several hours later, Kieron wins. BORING.

Well, not really. The game's as fun as ever, and last night we played on one of the pre-deployed maps, which meant the game was actually finished (instead of ending in stalemate) and didn't take five hours to get going. Definitely the way to go in the future. However, Kieron's tactics were again superior to mine or John's. We knew they would be, and to start with I wasn't attacking John's units and he wasn't attacking mine - through some sort of unspoken understanding.

At least, John didn't think he was attacking my units. It turns out that he thought I was blue when actually I was green.

I'll have to practice for next time.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Midweek Challenges - 19/07/2006

Complete success last week!

Get past level 16 of Brickbreaker. This is the level with the row of indestructable blocks preventing you from progressing if you lose a life. I always lose a life.

Complete a run of Outrun 2 (on Coast 2 Coast on the PSP) finishing at stage D.

Complete parts 1 and 2 of the green sector in Doom RPG.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Doom RPG: green keycard get

Completed the yellow sector now, although I've missed a lot of secret areas along the way. Rather annoyingly, if you go back into any completed sectors it doesn't provide you with the map you'd uncovered previously, so you can't see where you'd found secrets before.

Some of the enemies are getting just a little scary.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Pro Evolution Soccer 5: preset results?

I'm getting a little fed up with this now. I'm pretty sure the game has decided which games it wants me to win and which ones it doesn't For example, I came back to the game after a brief break, and lost the next game in the league. I'd managed to keep possession quite well, though; I just couldn't score. So I abandoned that and played a few exhibition maches to get back up to speed. Won all of those.

I went back into the league and lost again. Again, I was playing well, but every shot was wide or saved. I tried quitting out and playing again. The same thing happened; but this time I defended well and managed a draw. My squad was knackered afterwards though.

I won the next game 5-0.

The first game was against North East London (Spurs, who are midway down the table). The second game was against Manchester Red (United, who are second, behind me). I don't think that follows somehow.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Naked War

Fabulous fun. I've posted a little on Wii Ouendan here. I'm currently in the middle of five games, of which I think I'm likely to win two. One is a bit of a stalemate at the moment.

I can't wait until I can start sending out challenges to everyone rather than just those on the Beta program.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Brickbreaker is a crappy game that comes installed on any Blackberry device. It's a Breakout and Arkanoid type game, with you controlling the paddle using the Blackberry scroll wheel. Unfortunately, said scroll wheel is rather stiff and clunky, and difficult to use, so it makes the game a bit rubbish. And some of the design decisions in the game make it really dire:
  • The ball doesn't bounce off of a wall at the angle you would expect - it seems to be prretty random whether it bounces back at a more obtuse or acute angle than it hit at
  • The powerups are assigned at random, which means that you could be lucky and get five extra lives in the first three levels, or you could get none, making whether you get very far in the game random as well
  • One of the powerups is the catch. But when you catch a ball, you then can't move your paddle until you've released the ball, meaning you miss out on any other powerups that are falling
  • When you catch the ball, you can change where the ball's aimed by rotating a guideline with the scrollwheel. But when you fire the ball, it doesn't actually go where the guideline said
  • After not very many hits, the playing field starts to move down the screen, one block each time you hit the ball, until the bottom of the block field is just above your bat. In later levels, such as level 16, there's a row of indestructable blocks across the bottom of the main block field. If you lose a life after the field has moved down, you have no chance of surviving long enough to get the ball back up into play, so effectively you've lost all your lives at once.
I've played it a lot, though. Why? Because Soren, someone I work with, told me his score. I beat it, he beat mine, and so on, and currently I'm about 200 ahead (on 9155). Competitiveness is a good thing.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Midweek Challenges - 12/07/2006

I've still not played Exit. In fact, I've noticed a bit of a theme here. The difference is that this week I was going to play Exit, but couldn't find the game disc, found Pro Evolution Soccer 5 instead, and played that, what with it being the World Cup and all.

Win three matches in PES5's league.

Complete the yellow sector in Doom RPG.

I'm off up to Derby this weekend so there won't be much time for anything else ...

Doom RPG

It's a mobile game. That I've paid for. And it's really good.

The RPG doesn't stand for rocket-propelled grenade, as you might expect with Doom. It's a proper Role Playing Game - sort of like Dungeon Keeper but set in the Doom universe, using Doom enemies and so on. Combat is turn-based, but it flows with the main action of the game superbly. There's humour, too, with many of the human non-player characters having well-written dialogue and backstories.

It may get repetitive later on, but for now I'm enjoying it. I've completed the entrance and have moved into the yellow sector. The enemies are starting to get just a little harder now.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Monday, July 10, 2006


That may not be the right number of As. And, in fact, mostly I've not got As, I've got stars. But every grand prix has been cleared with at least an A now.

And my hand hurts.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Halo 2: we all hate Americans

We don't all play games to be overly competitive. Some of us play games to have fun. Which means it's spoilt rather a lot by nobbers screaming and shouting about others' lack of skills just because they couldn't kill them first. Mostly, in fact, because of lag.

But worst still are those that hack the game. Take, for example, this game. Each member of our team appeared on top of the big pointy bit in the level, and was instantly sniped by "Milf Facker". I think I was alive for a whole five seconds at one point.

Why? What's the point?

Other than that though I had some really good games, playing with John over Live. He's still better than me. I need to play more.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Midweek Challenges - 05/07/2006

Complete situation 05 in Exit.

Get at least an A for every grand prix on Mario Kart DS.

Complete one mission in Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow

Monday, July 03, 2006

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories: stuck again

The problem with the game is that, if you get stuck, it's so much easier and more fun to just drive around causing havok. So I do. I've cleared a few more missions, though (I think more than the five I set myself), so at least I feel I've made some progress.

Actually, I wanted to play Mario Kart DS, but my brother's stolen the game, so I can't. I think it might be two failures this week. I can't be bothered with Exit.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sticky Balls: onwards and upwards

I've still not worked out quite how the game works out whether you've fouled or it's game over, but I've got further than ever before. I've unlocked a couple more arcade tables, as well - but one (the round one where the balls are connected with springs) eludes me.